Today's tech-minded customers like to be part of advancing technology. It's fun and exciting. But if a company pushes too hard and in the wrong ways, without an understanding of customer psychology, relentless change can become the enemy. One sure sign of that is when people start to celebrate retro ways of thinking.
Ah, the good old days. Simplicity. Image credit: Shutterstock.
Everything old is new again. Whether it's the current retro fondness for vinyl records, paper magazines, old clothes or actually shopping in a real store, people seem to be reacting to the relentless pace of technology change. This headlong rush into the future has people responding in interesting ways. For example, a rare exception for Apple is that while iTunes and Apple Music can be a challenge to use, there's nothing simpler than putting a vinyl record on a turntable. (Not for me though.)
One sign of the impact of Internet commerce is that, this week, we learned that Amazon has been putting serious pressure on Walmart, and Walmart's projections for earnings aren't rosy. See: "How Amazon is eating Walmart's lunch." But, darn it, people do like to get out and shop. Talk to people. And sightsee. The trick, it seems, is to figure out how to recover a balance in favor of the brick and mortar stores by using an understanding of shopper psychology.
Here's a brief introduction to a longer research report from Business Insider that covers some of those essentials for shoppers. "Brick-and-mortar retailers are betting on these 5 in-store technologies to win back shoppers."
Image credit: Business Insider
And so, the trick to embracing customers isn't always about the latest and greatest technology via mail order. That's attractive for some small companies thanks to the low overhead. But the real story is about a company's relationship with the customer. And nowhere else is that more important than Apple's retail stores. They are a conduit to customer relationships that last and have value. Look at the chart above. Apple scores on all six factors. And when people feel happy and educated about the buying experience from a company that puts them first, they tend to embrace the new technologies.
Again, an always interesting contrast is Amazon.
For example, here are some interesting thoughts about "Amazon is killing the category it popularized, dedicated e-readers." The idea here is that killing a technology to make money in other areas just drives customers in the wrong psychological direction.
Ah, those contrary customers. They're so hard to figure out.
Next page: the tech news debris for the week of October 12. The tablet 2.0 era.